General Switch Management Protocol (GSMP) Applicability (RFC3294)
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jun-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
A. Doria: AUTHOR [+2]
This memo provides an overview of the GSMP (General Switch Management Protocol) and includes information relating to its deployment in a IP network in an MPLS environment. It does not discuss deployment in an ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) network or in a raw ethernet configuration.
Network Working Group A. Doria
Request for Comments: 3294 Lulea University of Technology
Category: Informational K. Sundell
General Switch Management Protocol (GSMP) Applicability
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.
This memo provides an overview of the GSMP (General Switch Management
Protocol) and includes information relating to its deployment in a IP
network in an MPLS environment. It does not discuss deployment in an
ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) network or in a raw ethernet
The General Switch Management Protocol (GSMP) has been available to
the IETF community for several years now as informational RFCs. Both
GSMPv1.1 (released in March 1996 as RFC 1987 ) and GSMPv2.0
(released in August 1998 as RFC 2297 ) are available. Several
vendors have implemented GSMPv1.1.
In V1.1 and V2 GSMP was intended only for use with ATM switches.
During the course of the last two years, the GSMP working group has
decided to expand the purview of GSMP to the point where it can be
used to control a number of different kinds of switch and can thus
live up to what its name indicates; a general switch management
protocol. To do this, commands and arguments needed to be
generalised and sections needed to be added, discussing the manner in
which the generalised protocol could be applied to specific kinds of
switches and port types. In short, the protocol has gone through
major changes in the last 24 months.
Doria & Sundell Informational [Page 1]
RFC 3294 GSMP Applicability June 2002
GSMP provides an interface that can be used to separate the data
forwarder from the routing and other control plane protocols such as
LDP. As such it allows service providers to move away from
monolithic systems that bundle the control plane and the data plane
into a single tightly coupled system - usually in a single chassis.
Separating the control components from the forwarding components and
using GSMP for switch management, enables service providers to create
multi-service systems composed of various vendors equipment. It also
allows for a more dynamic means of adding services to their networks.
The IETF GSMP working group was established in the routing area
because GSMP was being seen as an optional part of the MPLS solution.
In a MPLS system, it is possible to run the routing protocols and
label distribution protocols on one system while passing data across
a generic switch, e.g., an ATM switch. GSMP provides the switch
resource management mechanism needed in such a scenario.
GSMP has also been selected by the Multiservice Switching Forum (MSF)
as its protocol of choice for the Switch Control Interface identified
in their architecture. The MSF is an industry forum which, among its